Almaty circuit trek

Duration: 5 days
Season: June – October
Mountain Range: Ile Alatau

About tour:

A route that has absorbed all the contrasts and beauties of Ile Alatau mountains and will introduce you with the most interesting nature sites of Small and Big Almaty Gorges. You will visit the mountain resort Shymbulak, dine in a traditional Kazakh yurt, cross the glacier, rising to an altitude of almost 4000 meters, enjoy the view of moraine lakes and take a dip in the hot spring Alma-Arasan after the hike.


– enjoying atmosphere of Tien-Shan wilderness

– exploring two biggest gorges of Ile Alatau

– experiencing hospitality of traditional kazakh yurt

– trying the taste of national cuisine 

– camping among the picturesque valleys and high mountains

– crossing the glacier and reaching the height of almost 4000 meters

– meditating near the moraine lakes with a view to the white massive peaks

– relieve body fatigue in the waters of mineral hot-spring


1000$ per one person
  600$ per person for the group of 2
  450$ per person for the group of 3-6
  400$ per person for the group of 7-8
  350$ per person for the group of 9-10


8 people


Ile Alatau


June – October

Highest point:

3980 m.a.s.l.


5 days

Ability level:

intermediate, advanced/expert

Start point:



Almaty – Medeu – Shymbulak – Left Talgar gorge – Tourists pass – Ozyornoye gorge – Almaty Alagir pass – Prokhodnoye gorge

Day by day Schedule:

Day 1

Almaty – Medeu – Shymbulak – Talgar pass – Small Talgar pass – Left Talgar gorge – Alpine Rose glade.

Departure from Almaty at 9 am. Transfer to the sports complex Medeu. Ascent by cable car to Talgar pass. Lunch in the national Kazakh yurt at the pass. The beginning of the route. Descent along the ski lift to the Small Talgar pass. Here you will see a magnificent panorama of the peaks with eternal snow, Til and Ayak glaciers, as well as the peaks – Chkalova and Fizkulturnik. Then the descent continues towards the river in the Left Talgar gorge. On the way down to the river we will make a break and have a snack. Then we move up the gorge along the river, gradually gaining height. The camp will be set up on a wide picturesque glade Alpine Rose near the stream. Setting up the camp. Free time. Dinner near the fire. Overnight in tents.

Distance: 8 km.
Elevation gain/loss: – 915 meters/+200 meters.
Hiking time: 4 hours.
Camp altitude: 2450 meters.

Day 2

Alpine Rose glade – valley of Left Talgar river – Sunny glade – gorge of Tourists river – moraine of Tourists glacier.

Awakening at 7 am. Breakfast. Packing stuff. At 9 am the start of the route up the gorge. Almost all the time we will be moving along a good path, with the exception of one section, where we will have to overcome a small depostits of a mudflow. After passing this difficult section, we will come to a small picturesque lake formed as a result of a powerful spillway that happened in 2003. Then we will reach the Sunny Glade, from where a magnificent view of the four-thousanders with snow-ice tops – the peak of Pushkin and the Constitution will open. For lunch we will stop at the confluence of the Turists and Left Talgar rivers. After rest, we will have a long climb up the valley of the Tourists gorge. The camp will be set up on a ground in front of the foothills of SGU peak, a very beautiful and massive mountain. Setting up the camp. Cooking dinner. Free time. Overnight in tents.

Distance: 12 km.
Elevation gain/loss: +1150 meters/-50 meters.
Hiking time: 7-8 hours.
Camp altitude: 3550 meters.

Day 3

Moraine of Tourists glacier – Tourists pass – upper reaches of Kyzyl-Sai river – Ozyornoye gorge – moraine of Almaty Alagir glacier.

Awakening at 6 am. On this day, you need to start the route early in order to overcome the Tourist Pass – the highest and most difficult section of the entire route before lunchtime. After breakfast and packing stuff, we begin to move further up the gorge along the visible path. We will pass by moraine lakes and see another beautiful snowy peak – the peak of Soviet Alpinists, 4380 meters high. Further, the Tourists glacier begins, which in summer time is easily overcome on foot, there is little snow on it. Having reached the pass, we arrange a small halt for rest, snacks and photo session. The gorgeous peaks – Soviet, Ozyorniy, Molodaya Gvardiya with heights more than four thousand meters will be proudly towered in front of you. In clear weather, you can also see the highest point of the Northern Tien Shan ridge – Talgar Peak, whose height reaches almost 5000 meters. After break we continue to moving down, from the pass towards the valley of Kyzyl-Sai river. We will need to drop almost 900 meters and reach the confluence of two rivers – Kyzyl-Sai and Ozyornaya. Here you can stop for a halt and take a break. Next, we will move up towards the Almaty Alagir pass. Setting up the camp on the ancient moraine of Almaty Alagir glacier. Rest, dinner and overnight in tents.

Distance: 13 km.
Elevation gain/loss: +500 meters/-900 meters.
Hiking time: 7-8 hours.
Camp altitude: 3150 meters.
The highest point of the day: Tourists pass (3980 meters).

Day 4

Moraine of Almaty Alagir glacier – Almaty Alagir pass – Prokhodnoye gorge – Terra glade.

Awakening at 7 am. Breakfast. Packing stuff. Ascent to the Almaty Alagir pass along the ancient moraines. From the pass you will see a wonderful panorama of Prokhodnoye Gorge, where the border with Kyrgyzstan passes. Rest on the pass and descent to the Prokhodnoye Gorge. In ancient times one of the mountains branches of the Great Silk Road passed through this gorge. The descent will be quite long, this day we will have to drop more than one thousand meters. On the way, we will make stops for rest, and we will also be able to visit one of the nearby moraine lakes. Next, we have to cross the river by the bridge, which is popularly called “Alyoshkin”, why it was called like that, we will find out on the other bank of the river. Here it is already close to the place with romantic name «Terra glade». Setting up the camp. Dinner and overnight in tents.

Distance: 15 km.
Elevation gain/loss: +550 meters/-1050 meters.
Hiking time: 7-8 hours.
Camp altitude: 2600 meters.
The highest point of the day: Almaty Alagir pass (3655 meters).

Day 5

Terra glade – Girl’s Tears waterfall – Alma-Arasan hot-spring.

On this day, you don’t need to wake up very early and can sleep till 9 am. Breakfast, packing styff and moving down the gorge. At the very beginning, you will have to cross the river by an iron bridge and then cross deposits of a mudflow. Further, the path will be going through the forest, up and down. On the way, you will meet thickets of raspberry bushes, which berries usually ready for eating in August and September. On the way, we will stop at one of the wide meadows for rest. Just before reaching the Alma-Arasan spring, we will have a view of the small waterfall «Girl’s Tears», which has an observation ground with benches, where you can also take a breath and enjoy the sounds of falling water streams. We will go down further and very soon find ourselves on the territory of a well-equipped mineral hot-spring, known for its healing properties. Here you can spend enough time, swim, eat and even take a nap if you want. The last move will be done to the road, where the car will be waiting us and deliver back to the city. Visit to the mountain SPA aqua center on the way (optional).

Distance: 8 km.
Elevation gain/loss: -1000 meters.
Hiking time: 5 hours.

Required clothing and equipment

– Light functional trekking pants or leggings;
– T-shirt or light shirt with long sleeve;
– Cap or panama hat for sun and heat protection;
– Neck warmer;
– Trekking waterproof boots or similar with a good protector sole and high lacing;
– Light sandals or subber slippers for wading the rivers;
– Memraine or other water and wind resistant jacket and pants;
– Warm fleece or polartec jacket;
– Light down vest or jacket;
– Extra set of warm thermal layer for spending nights in the tent;
– Extra warm socks;
– Beanie or warm hat;
– Two pair of gloves;
– Head-torch; 
– Sunglasses;
– Sunscreen;
– Personal dishes: fork, spoon, mug, bowl;
– Personal hygiene items;
– Swimwear for visiting hot-spring;
– Water container;
– Thermos for hot tea;
– Trekking poles;
– Personal AID kit;
– Sleeping bag with temperature -5 degrees Celsius in comfort zone;
– Energy bars, muesli or other special mountain food and snacks;
– Tourist mat;
– Tent.

Services included in the package:

1. Hotel pickup/drop-off.
2. Professional English-speaking guide services.
3. All admission and environmental fees.
4. Dinner in the yurt in Day 1, three meals in Day 2-3, breakfast in Day 5.
5. Tickets for cable car from Medeu to Talgar pass.
6. Visiting of aqua SPA resort (optionally).

Services does not included in the package:

1. Food not indicated in the program and/or not included in program price.
2. Personal expenses and other expenses not indicated in the program.
3. Accommodation in Almaty before or after the tour.
4. Visa support and registration in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
5. Insurance policy.
6. Rental of camping equipment (available upon request, extra charged).

Please, note:

During all days of the program, having passport is required. Part of the route passes area close to the border with Kyrgyzstan.

Depending on weather, health and physical condition of the participants, guide can make adjustments to the program.

The program can be canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions
the real threat to life and health of the participants.

Upon request the services of the porters can be added into the program. The service is paid additionally. One porter can take a load of maximum 15 kg.

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